‘Align With': Definition, Meaning, and Examples

By Sophia Merton, updated on January 6, 2023

What does it mean when someone uses the phrase ‘align with’? What does it mean for someone to be ‘aligned with’ something else?

When someone is ‘aligned with’ someone or something, it means that they support, agree with, or are forming an alliance with that person or thing.

What Does 'Align With' Mean?

To ‘align with’ someone or something means to agree with, support, or form an alliance with an idea or person.

For example, let’s say that your boss came up with a new morale-boosting initiative at work that you are excited about. When you and your coworker discuss this, you might say something along the lines of “I think it’s a great idea. I am completely willing to align myself with this new plan.”

On the other hand, you could also use the phrase ‘not in align with’ to show that you and another person or idea are not on the same page. Let’s say that two of your best friends are fighting, and they are both pressuring you to pick sides. You might say, “I’m not going to align myself with either of you. You need to work this out between yourselves!”

Where Does 'Align With' Come From?

The word ‘align’ dates back to the early 15th century when it literally meant “to range (things) in a line” and also referred to the copulation of wolves or dogs. It comes from the Old French alignier which meant “set, lay in a line.”

The sense of ‘align’ which means “fall into line,” wasn’t used until 1853.

‘With is a word that has a long history and comes from an Old English word that means “opposite, toward, from, by, against, near.”

Using Google’s Ngram Viewer, we see that the phrase ‘align with’ was rarely used until the 1880s and didn’t really start to pick up regular usage until the 20th century. The graph shows an exponential curve, with the phrase becoming increasingly common around the 1980s.

Examples of 'Align With' In Sentences

How would you use ‘align with’ in a sentence? Let’s take a look at some examples:

  • “When we were at the office, Jessica seemed to completely align herself with the idea. At the bar after work, though, she was going on and on saying she thought it was a huge mistake.”
  • “Is there any option other than the one you’re presenting? If that’s all we’ve got, I’m willing to align myself with it. Otherwise, I think we should explore some other potential avenues.”
  • “I could tell my parents wanted me to align myself with one of them regarding where we should go for vacation. I’m not picking sides– I’m staying out of it.”
  • “When I was lying in bed last night, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that I aligned myself with the new project without even stopping to consider how busy my schedule is. I simply don’t have time for it.”
  • “I know he seems like a weird and strange guy, but I still want to align myself with his nonprofit because it seems like they do good things for the community.”

Other Ways to Say 'Align With'

What are some other ways that you can communicate a similar meaning as the one conveyed by ‘align with’? Here are some examples:

  • Agree with
  • Coincide with
  • Harmonize with
  • Conform with
  • Merge with

Are you really starting to ‘align yourself with’ the idea that idioms can add a lot of richness and depth to your vocabulary? If so, be sure to check out our idioms blog!

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Sophia Merton
Sophia Merton is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Sophia received her BA from Vassar College. She is passionate about reading, writing, and the written word. Her goal is to help everyone, whether native English speaker or not, learn how to write and speak with perfect English.

Add new comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WritingTips.org Newsletter
Receive information on
new articles posted, important topics, and tips.
Join Now
We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.